University of Virginia Curry School of Education Receives $5 Million
Grant to Improve School Readiness
December 12, 2003 --
Curry School education professor Robert C. Pianta was one
of eight researchers across the country to receive a multi-million
grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development
to improve preschools and find the best ways to prepare preschool
children for later success in school.
who has been working in this area for many years, will seek to
improve preschool teacher
training and support through
Internet-based technology with a $5 million grant over five years.
The training will focus on child literacy, language development
and building social relationships. It also will incorporate the
importance of parental involvement for improving children’s
the state-funded Virginia Preschool Classrooms Initiative, Pianta
has been studying and planning how and what
do to impart the lifelong-learning skills that children, particularly
those having learning difficulties, need to succeed academically.
He has had “enthusiastic responses from nearly all [Virginia]
school districts” for spring participation, he said. Preschool
coordinators from public schools have been invited to a late
January meeting on what the program entails.
want to help schools build a better infrastructure for teacher
support,” especially poorer schools, Pianta said. Through
the initiative, teachers will receive curricular materials
and computers, as well as training and support in the best
teach with the materials.
is the NICHD press release that describes the national initiative.
Pianta can be reached
at (434) 243-5483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: NICHD Press Office
Education Launch Research To Promote School Readiness Effort
Supports President Bush's Early Childhood Education
Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced a new five-year research
with the Department
find the best ways to prepare preschool
children for later success in school.
the initiative's first year, eight institutions across the country
will receive $7.4
million in research grants to test
training, and the importance of parental involvement for
improving children's readiness to enter school.
research will identify ways to help children get the most out
of preschool so they can enter kindergarten ready to learn," Secretary
Thompson said. "The
strategies identified by these researchers will help identify
effective pre-school curricula and teaching approaches.
The research represents an important part
of President Bush's early childhood education initiative."
new research initiative grew out the 2001 White House
Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development, which highlighted
ways to help parents,
teachers, and caregivers provide young children with
intellectual and social skills they need to succeed when
they enter school.
first-year grant funding includes $6.4 million from three HHS
components -- the National Institute
the National Institutes of Health, the Administration
for Children and Families
HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning
and Evaluation. The Department of Education's Office of Special
and Rehabilitative Services contributed
$1 million for first year.
following are the eight research centers, the centers' lead investigators,
and each center's
State University, Karen L. Bierman, Ph.D.
This site will compare curricula now in use in
many Head Start classrooms to curricula based on
In all, 320
40 randomly selected classrooms will be studied
to see if the new curricula improve language development
of Pennsylvania, John W. Fantuzzo, Ph.D.
This site will test curriculum for preschool children
from low-income, urban families. The study will
to test the
effectiveness of a
new preschool curriculum focusing on reading,
math, and the social and emotional needs of children.
of California, Los Angeles, Carollee Howes, Ph.D.
This site will focus on the educational needs
of Latino children and will compare three types
Head Start, private
and family day care networks. The study seeks
to improve the interactions between children
in order to
better prepare them
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Janis B. Kupersmidt, Ph.D.
This site will explore better ways of training
preschool teachers in math and pre-literacy
them meet children's needs in reading, math,
and social and emotional skills.
University, Samuel L. Odom, Ph.D.
This site will study how poverty, disability,
and minority status may influence children's
to learn, and
will involve 600
at-risk preschool children
in five locations across the country.
of Virginia, Robert C. Pianta, Ph.D.
This site will examine preschool teacher
training and support through Internet-based
on child literacy,
and building social relationships. Four
hundred classrooms will be involved.
of Chicago, C. Cybele Raver, Ph.D.
This site will identify ways to decrease
the risks posed by behavior problems
among a group
children will be involved at eight
Head Start sites in Chicago. Researchers will
how training for teachers, the presence
of teacher's aides, and access to mental
can benefit young
of Nebraska-Lincoln, Susan M. Sheridan, Ph.D.
This study seeks to foster parental
involvement in high-risk families.
The goal of the
study is to improve
readiness by improving
parents and children in the home.
The study will evaluate the overall benefits
in both home
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